Newry, Mourne and Down Voluntary and Community Strategic Stakeholder Forum (SSF) held an update meeting with political representatives in the Parliament Buildings at Stormont on Monday 10 September 2022. The purpose of the meeting was to highlight their recent policy paper, `Living Well Together – Planning for Recovery and Renewal’ to ask for solutions to the challenges our community faces.
The event provided an opportunity for the SSF Forum to showcase what can be achieved with Community Organisations through partnership working. It highlighted the importance of a functioning Executive for our communities, our businesses and our services, all of which have been impacted by reduced funding in the last few years.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Michael Savage said, “The ‘Living Well Together – Planning for Recovery and Renewal’ document is an example of community planning in practice. It highlights the huge challenges that our community faces now and, in the future. The document details recommendations for recovery and renewal and details the first of many important steps that need to be taken towards positive collaboration and change.”
Newry, Mourne and Down Voluntary and Community Strategic Stakeholder Forum Chairperson, Nicholas McCrickard said, “Many families and individuals across the district are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis that we are currently facing. The most vulnerable are being challenged with the impossible choice of either putting food on the table or buying fuel to heat their homes. Through the Community Planning Partnership, we need to work together to address these current challenges faced by our residents so that we can all ‘Live Well Together’.
Newry, Mourne and Down Voluntary and Community Strategic Stakeholder Forum Member and CEO Clanrye Group, Liam Devine also spoke about some of the issues facing the voluntary and community sectors and called for adequate funding for training and skills initiatives that can provide life altering prospects.